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About Fenspar

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  • RPG Biography
    Long time if patchy player and GM, and past finalist in the BRP adventure contest. Began with Traveller Classic, moved to RuneQuest, and then BRP.
  • Current games
    BRP in Middle-earth.
  • Location
    Palo Alto
  • Blurb
    A New Zealander, writer, RPG hobbiest and erratic blogger, living in Palo Alto, CA.

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  1. I ran a fairly classic fantasy campaign with the BGB a few years back. The setting was Middle Earth, so magic was very contained and there were fewer monsters and more human foes overall, although there were plenty of goblins, the odd troll, a wraith, and a vampire and werewolf towards the end. Almost everything I needed came from the BGB in terms of game systems. I took character starting characteristics for dwarves, elves, and hobbits from the Creatures section. I use a custom character record sheet that I made myself, so that only the relevant fantasy skills are shown. I don't use hit points by location, and this greatly speeds up play and cuts down on GM book-keeping. I used the heroic option for starting skills, and this meant that the PCs were largely capable but not over-powered. Most combats, as expected, came down to the first critical or special hit. There were no magic-users or wizards in the party, although I allowed the elf to cast a "bladesharp" or "sureshot" by rolling under POWx5. If I were to add wizards, I'd use the Magic system from the BGB rather than Sorcery, although I've always thought that the cost of "offensive" spells, like Flame, at 3 MP per 1d6 damage, is rather steep for classic fantasy. I've played 1d6 per 1 MP and that worked fine. Magic World is also an excellent option, but I found everything I needed and more flexibility in the BGB.
  2. BRP can run Middle-earth inspired adventures really well, and so if I had a free hand I would take the classic setting "Legend" from the Dragon Warriors system (Morris, et al) and make that a resource for BRP fantasy. Legend has its own rules, of course, but the creators have argued that the world is a thing that stands apart from a particular system. I'm surprised no one ever tried to create a game based on Tad Williams' "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn". This one has something of the feel of Legend as well. Finally, it would be a fascinating challenge to try and capture something of the mood and tone of M. John Harrison's Viriconium sequence in a BRP RPG, but I suspect the author would never agree to a license, so it would have to be "inspired by" all the way.
  3. I found some more references to Fantasy Earth on the Chaosium submissions pages, and it’s as you recall. Fairly tailored setting specific books, each with their own RQ rules adapted to the setting. Not quite the generalizable fantasy setting book I was hoping for. Still wondering what the three other games mentioned might be. Evidently Chaosium want to keep the focus on RQG right now.
  4. I, for one, would like to know more about RuneQuest Fantasy Earth. I'm ambivalent about RuneQuest Glorantha, not because I don't think it's a fine game but because Glorantha is not the world I want to play, and I don't need to revert to RQ 2.5 rules when I still have the BGB. But a fantasy earth, somewhat like the generic setting of RuneQuest 3 but with rules closer to the BGB would be of great interest... if that's what "RuneQuest Fantasy Earth" means.
  5. While I recognize the commercial necessity behind this, this is a disappointing update. As captured in the BGB, BRP in itself is an excellent system, and as a GM I want to be able to harness it for my own worlds. The BGB is and will continue to be my resource for this. But I would certainly have paid to have something concise, with the core rules accessible, in the form of a BRP Essentials book. This would be in preference to trying to extract the system I want from RuneQuest or CoC.
  6. I like this idea. Because BRP is a percentile, skill-based system it doesn't lend itself to a very lite adaptation, but something like this could work well. I'd take the standard BRP characteristics (STR, CON, SIZ, DEX, INT, CHA, POW, etc.) and roll something like 2d6+3, maybe even roll 3d6 and take the best, to give younger players a high but not too high range of characteristics. Calculate HP and MP as usual. I'd probably use a straight modifier (+1 or higher) for damage bonus instead of another die. Then roll under on d20 for success. Use STR for combat, DEX for sneaking, INT for perception, and so on. For combat, the damage and armour values in any BRP book could apply. Later on, it could be scaled up to percentile values. You could even start building on % skills. Otherwise, MagicWorld is a really accessible BRP system. I'd also second Fighting Fantasy, or Advanced Fighting Fantasy as an alternative.
  7. Coming in late to this topic just to say that a while back I blogged some notes about finding a fit for Middle-earth style play with the BRP rules. I've found a lean version of BRP to be a fairly good fit for adventures in Middle-earth with a small group of new players. The notes are here: http://rpg-tinker.blogspot.com/2015/02/brp-for-middle-earth.html The issue of magic in Middle-earth is fascinating, but I mostly dodged that by having no PC wizards or magicians. The one elf in the group used a combination of special abilities and simple spells based on Runequest spirit magic (such as Bladesharp). These were subtle effects that could be taken for extraordinary skill or luck. My feeling is that wizardry, if there is such a thing, should be based on fairly open-form areas of study and affinity, with a flexible power point cost based on the scope of effect.
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